Daniel Van Vooren Halverson

So, against all odds and logic, I made the bullheaded decision to move to Missoula, Montana to SOMEHOW attend Summer Intensive! With only a fraction of a year to figure it all out, I saved as much money as possible and then drove 3,000 miles to Missoula! The mixture of terror and excitement made me feel more alive and happier than I had felt in quite some time.

Devastatingly, I fell short of my goal, and SI 2014 went on without me. It was a deflating experience to say the least. Feeling apathetic, I returned to Florida to regroup. I worked in construction, demolition, clerical, and customer service. I stuffed envelopes, and washed dishes at a cafe. I was apathetic about all of these jobs. I hadn’t even thought about Summer Intensive for a while, but then, my life sort of crumbled again, two weeks before SI 2015 began. Laying in that rubble, a familiar fire rekindled inside of me. I saw the faintest possibility of figuring out how to make it happen. I decided to go all in again, and pursued that faint possibility with an electric determination! With my inhuman enthusiasm it worked! I paid my tuition and found a last minute flight to Missoula. Tired but wide-eyed, I arrived as a complete beginner.

It’s been a fairy tale being here, making such close friends and watching us all grow together as photographers. Now I produce professional photographs. By the end of Advanced Intensive, I’ll have a business plan and the security of superior competence. My life and career look exciting from where I stand. To me, that is priceless.

To you, with your inner voice whispering “RMSP...RMSP...RMSP,” I want you to know that making the decision to attend Summer Intensive BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE was the greatest (and second greatest) decision I’ve ever made.